Ethnic Genetic Interests

More on Racial Cuckoldry and Racial Mimicry

I have received some feedback on my racial cuckoldry article and, to be honest, some of the comments are disheartening.  Some readers apparently completely missed the major point of the essay, and there seem to be many misunderstandings.  I will make a few brief comments here.  I would strongly suggest though that interested readers go to American Renaissance and order Frank Salter’s book On Genetics Interests.  Salter deals with some of these issues, including the “only phenotype is important” argument, in his chapter replying to objections to genetic interests, and this book is absolutely fundamental.

I will start by outlining the chain of argumentation used in the original racial cuckoldry essay. I attempted to construct a simple, logical, and accessible-to-the-layman thesis.  I began by discussing the general phenomenon of cuckoldry for evolved organisms, relating the human experience of cuckolded men with what occurs with brood parasitism involving, for example, birds.

I assume that the reader agrees that raising another man’s child due to deception is a serious blow to the cuckold’s interests, since he is investing in another man’s genetic continuity and not his own. But it’s the same at the level of the population: Racial cuckoldry occurs when the “racial cuckold” mistakenly perceives a genetically alien person/group as a member of the cuckolds’ own ethny, and thus maladaptively invests in that genetically alien person/group.

I then considered in what manner such a mistake can be made.  I used several examples — including on the population level (e.g., Kalash) and on the individual level (e.g., Gosselaar) — to demonstrate that racial cuckoldry often occurs because of racial mimicry.  The cuckold thinks that the genetic alien “looks like” and/or “acts like” “one of us” and thus accepts that this alien is “one of us” when objectively, this alien is not “one of us” at all.

I concluded that if one wishes to avoid the maladaptive action of racial cuckoldry, one must take into consideration kinship as evaluated through genetic assays, instead of relying on personal opinions of what someone “looks like.”

I also pointedly compared cuckoldry to adoption.  In both cases, investment is made in the genetic alien, but with cuckoldry, this investment takes place involuntarily due to deception and/or ignorance, and in the case of adoption the investment is voluntary, the decision is made fully informed of the genetic consequences.

The ultimate “take home point” of the original essay is that whatever decision one makes on “who is in my ingroup,” that decision must be an informed one, made with all the facts known.  If you want to “adopt” the Kalash or Gosselaar as European, then at least do so knowing exactly what they are.  I also pointed out that it is not necessary to “test” every individual – ethnic group data can serve as a proxy when individuals’ ethnic ancestries are known.

Thus, starting from the biological reality that adaptive behavior for evolved organisms is defined as that behavior which results in genetic continuity and/or expansion, all else in the original essay follows, assuming that the reader wants to act adaptively.  Of course, people may not care (e.g., quite a few Christians don’t care). But it is reasonable to believe that readers of The Occidental Observer care about adaptive behavior, even if they may not specifically use that “scientific” term to describe their interests in familial and racial continuity.  The typical racial nationalist stresses kinship ties to the race and ethnic group.

Let’s look at some (paraphrased) comments and complaints (in italics) and replies to these.

The concept of “Racial Cuckoldry” presumes the existence of a pure race…

I have read over my original essay and I can’t quite see any references to a “pure race.”  All that is required is genetic differences, not “purity.”

You confuse racial interests with genetic interests. Racial interests are the interests we have for people with a White phenotype, groups that have evolved a White phenotype in particular environments. You are too reductionist with all of these genetic arguments. Only physical appearance matters.

Some people apparently missed the entire point of the essay and talk about only White phenotypes as being of importance, and that if different groups under similar conditions evolved similar White phenotypes, then that’s all that matters.

Salter made clear in On Genetic Interests that some people will continue stubbornly clinging to phenotype and that “who cares?” will always be an essentially unanswerable riposte against the invocation of genetic interests. This is likely what is happening here: If some people simply don’t care about kinship or relatedness at all, what can one do? If people value phenotype over kinship, then that is their value system and one cannot objectively argue against values. However, one can logically point out that this choice, this value system, is not biologically adaptive.  It is the same as favoring the children of a completely unrelated stranger over your own children simply because the stranger’s children happen to look more like you than your own (assume for the sake of simplicity that all are of the same ethny).  Now, if that is your choice based on your value system, I can’t argue with you. But don’t pretend that it is adaptive and a biologically wise choice.  It is in fact highly maladaptive.

Another argument is as follows.  For a variety of reasons, disease-related as well as, allegedly, surgical, Michael Jackson started “looking Whiter” as he aged. However, his African-American genes remained the same.  If, as some claim, racial interests are different from genetic interests, I ask — did Whites’ racial interests in Michael Jackson increase as he started to “look Whiter?”  If racial phenotype independent of genetics is what racial interests are really about, then by the time of his death Mr. Jackson was much “more White” than he was as a youth, and, thus, of greater racial interest to Euro-Americans.

To answer that absurdity, some may claim that what they really mean are heritable phenotypes.  That’s okay, but by heritable you mean genetic.  Thus, these racial interests in phenotype are based upon genes — genes for physical appearance.  But why should these genes get sole precedent over all others?  What about genes encoding intelligence, behavior, etc?  What about so-called “non-functional” genes that provide important information on kinship, on family, on common ancestral origins?  Who is to say that some genes are important to racial interests and others are not? 

The fact is that there are many, many more functional genes than just those controlling physical appearance. And, even though (true) non-functional genes may be of lesser importance, gene markers that provide important information on kinship are not completely without value.  Thus, I argue that all genetic information that distinguishes people or groups from each other is important. Some are more important than others, but all must be considered.  Once you cite the heritable genetic nature of phenotype to get around the obvious absurdity of “a ‘Whiter’ Michael Jackson is now worthy of White racial interests,” one cannot arbitrarily draw a line and say that only a small set of genes are important.  They all are, to one degree or another. Thus, racial interests are indeed genetic interests; there is no real difference between the two.

Groups people say are related are not really that related because, for example, Slavs and Basques are characterized by different NRY haplotypes.

First of all, you cannot determine population identity by single locus markers, like NRY or mtDNA.  Their time of utility for population genetics has passed; we are now in the age of using hundreds of thousands of autosomal markers to ascertain race and ethnic group identities.  Second of all, there is no such thing as an ethnic group composed of members with only one type of NRY or mtDNA haplotype.  There is variation within groups as well.  This means that even in mono-ethnic extended families, you can have different NRY or mtDNA.  Mono-ethnic male cousins of different paternal lineages can have different NRY. Are they not closely related?  The same applies to mDNA and maternal lineages.

Now, there are of course real differences between European types that can be identified by autosomal analyses.  I never said Europeans were identical.  The point is, though, that they are much more closely related to each other than to the Kalash, or to hybrids like Gosselaar.

A general comment that does have some validity is that I am missing the forest for the trees.  In other word: with a global racial meltdown for Whites, why bother nitpicking over a White-looking fellow like Mr. Gosselaar?  Is it necessary to focus on ever finer genetic distinctions?

In one sense, I am sympathetic to this argument.  Gosselaar and reasonable numbers of people like him are likely assimilable.  And, true enough, it is easy to get distracted from the worldwide racial crisis by obsessing over small genetic differences between closely related peoples.

On the other hand, Gosselaar’s non-European ancestry is not trivial.  Even if you assume that his mother herself is admixed and not pure Indonesian (possible, given Gosselaar’s appearance), the fact that he may be 1/4 Indonesian rather than 1/2 Indonesian doesn’t make him European.  25% Southeast Asian ancestry is a lot.  And I have no definite evidence his mother is admixed; it is just a possibility.

But, Gosselaar was just an example of the broader issue.  An entire ethnic group — the Kalash — is being mistakenly classified as similar to Europeans based on several pictures of Kalash children.  So, the assimilability of Mr. Gosselaar aside, this is an issue that needs to be addressed.  At the very least, as I have stated, let us have the information.  If we know what Gosselaar and the Kalash are, and if we still want to accept them as “White” — well, at least make that acceptance an informed decision.  Thus, my essay is not so much telling people where to draw the line, but rather, suggesting that they get all their facts in order before drawing that line — and that they must rely on genetic facts and not just on their personal opinions of what they think someone “looks like.”

Some of this is arbitrary — there are blonde, blue-eyed Jews, Black Jews, etc.

I was referring for the most part to Ashkenazim, the ones that may look most similar to Europeans.  That they may be “blonde and blue eyed” — like some Kalash — is the entire point of the article.

Some groups have increased their power by accepting mixed race “cuckoos.” Blacks accept as “Black” obviously mixed mulattoes, and this increases Black numbers and power. Hispanics come in all types: White, Black, Amerindian, and mixes thereof, but a pan-Hispanic identity increases their power. Maybe it is OK to have “racial cuckoldry?”

Obviously some people skipped over my distinction between cuckoldry, in which ignorance/deception is involved, and adoption, in which the genetic alien is accepted with the knowledge of the differences that exist.  I put forth the option that one could “adopt” Gosselaar or the Kalash (or, by analogy, even Jews) as “European.”  If that will increase our power and cause a net gain of genetic interest (by helping us save ourselves), that would be a good strategy.  All I am saying is — let us know the facts about genes and kinship before making a decision.  If the decision is “let’s accept Jews, Kalash, and Gosselaar,” that’s fine. Let’s see the argument for that and balance it against the genetic evidence and kinship.

Certainly, it makes sense for any group to look for allies and mutual benefits. What I am concerned about is cuckoldry, where one race is giving resources to people from another race.

These critics don’t want to consider kinship at all.  They only want to consider interests like physical appearance and political power.  How is that different from the argument that (alien) immigration will make us all richer?

Let’s assume that the immigration would make us richer and more powerful.  Is it still good? Only if we can be assured that in the long run we won’t lose wealth and power to the alien immigrants. In other words, we must be assured that immigration does not result in cuckolding the receiving race.

As a thought experiment, one could imagine a managed form of immigration in which immigrants worked as contract laborers and could be trusted never to seek political power; nor would they seek economic benefits such as affirmative action that are costly to the natives, or disrupt the cohesiveness of the host society. They would leave as soon  as their contract expired. Under such a situation, immigration may indeed be beneficial for the receiving society.

Unfortunately, immigration into Western societies is not at all like this. Current immigration is maladaptive for Whites because within a few decades they will be a political minority at which point their wealth (and even their physical safety) may well be imperiled. And immigration destroys the social fabric by creating ethnic enclaves. And in the end, the present form of immigration lowers the genetic fitness of the natives relative to the total gene pool of the society. That is, distinctive European genetic combinations become relatively less common.

By the way, Blacks accepting mulattoes as “Black” is not racial cuckoldry.  Blacks distinguish between dark “pure” Negroes and the “coffee and cream” mixes. In other words, skin tone has important practical implications among Blacks.  But in any case, they know that those with light skin are mixed and they have decided to accept them.

It is not racial cuckoldry if people create categories that benefit their own group. Whites could creatively admit others (say, Jews) into the category of White if it benefited them in some way. But if so, the important thing would be to be aware of underlying genetic differences in order to prevent cuckoldry by, say, coming to believe that all Whites have the same interests in Israel as Jews do.

In any case, the point is that the people who claim that the Kalash are the same as Europeans are not saying “we are different, but let’s form an alliance anyway.”  Instead, they are mistakenly thinking that the groups are the same when they are not — they are saying “the Kalash are just like Europeans, let’s accept them as such.”  The decision of acceptance is being based on mistaken opinions of Kalash racial characteristics. That is the point.

People will not agree to be tested.

In my article, I said that it is unlikely that everyone will use genetic testing. And I say that we should use ethnic data as a proxy for individualized data in most cases.

Then there is another fellow on another website who has made the following comments (my response in plain text below).

Ted seems to be saying that everyone has to provide a DNA analysis indicating that they are pure Aryan before they can join the club.

In the original essay, I openly state that for most people, simply knowing what their ethnic ancestry is can be reasonably sufficient if population genetics data exists for the person’s ancestral ethnic groups.  I do not say “everyone must be tested.”  I do say that would be optimal, but it is not currently practical.

I do not “seem” to be saying anything about “pure Aryans” either.  “Racial purity” has become a strawman argument, often used today by the “anti-racist” left to delegitimize the science of racial genetics.  It is also now apparently being used by some on the “right” to attack genetic testing.  “Purity” is not required. All that’s important is that genetic differences exist, and that some groups/people are more or less closely related compared to others. So no one needs to “indicate” that they are a “pure Aryan.” However, I don’t think it is too much to ask that people who are considered “racially just the same as Europeans” not be Central/South Asians like the Kalash or have an Indonesian mother like Gosselaar.

What a load of nonsense. Mark-Paul Gosselaar is a White man because he looks White.

This kind of thinking is exactly what I am arguing against in my essay.  Gosselaar is likely to be genetically 25–50% Southeast Asian.  But because he “looks White” in a photograph he mysteriously is not transformed into a “White man.”  Let’s change this a bit.  Imagine this commentator sees a boy that is the son of an unrelated stranger.  The boy looks like the commentator, so he says,  “That boy is my son because he looks like my son, he looks like me.”  But … he’s not your son. He is someone else’s son.  If your wife cheats and bears another man’s son and tricks you into thinking it is yours — followed by her saying “that’s it, no more children for me” — is the possibility that the little “cuckoo” may “look like you” going to change the fact that your genetic line has ended and you are raising another man’s child?  Doesn’t it matter what people actually are?

Let’s look at this another way.  Highly admixed families often exhibit a high degree of phenotypic variability.  Contrary to popular misconceptions, people do not inherit an equal, proportional amount of genes from each of their ancestors. So, for example, due to independent assortment and recombination that occurs in meiosis, a person may inherit significantly less than or greater than 25% of particular types of genes from each of their grandparents — and the same applies to all other ancestors and proportional genetic inheritance going back in time.  Assume Gosselaar’s mother is herself somewhat admixed, with some European heritage. Thus, Mark-Paul Gosselaar may have inherited predominantly European phenotypic genes from his Eurasian mother to complement those from his father.  His overall genetic ancestry, however, will still be significantly Southeast Asian, but he will “look White.”  In theory, he can have a full sibling who inherits more of the Asian genes from the mother and therefore will look obviously non-White and Eurasian.  Can a “White man” have a non-White full sibling?  Isn’t it obvious that ancestry trumps physical appearance?

And even if the mother is full Indonesian, many Indonesians do “not look as Mongoloid” as do many other East Asians, particularly Northeast Asians. They may have ancestry from other sources, including, possibly, Pacific Islander, Australoid, or even South Asian.  Particular combinations of uneven inheritance of genes encoding physical appearance can result in a Eurasian who looks like Gosselaar — despite being heavily Asiatic and obviously not “White.”

Whether Kalash are White or not is irrelevant. They don’t live in White countries so who cares?

Commentators at American Renaissance sure care.  And, obviously, the point about the Kalash is that they are illustrating the Racial Cuckoldry problem.  The Kalash may not live in White countries, but other non-European Caucasians do live in White countries. Should we accept them all as “White Europeans” just because you think they “look White?”

Ashkenazi Jews are White to me but that does not make them one of us. Many Albanians are White but I don’t consider them one of us.

Why?  Why aren’t they the same as Gosselaar?  They “look White” but they are not “White?”

Final Thoughts

Most scientists believe that life on Earth came about as replicating macromolecules.  These were almost certainly not DNA at first — perhaps RNA and possibly proteins. Some even postulate that non-organic material was the first replicating macromolecule.  What we are talking about here is information — self-replicating information in material form, making more copies of itself.

Relatively quickly, given the many advantages of DNA as material for storing and replicating this information, DNA took over as the predominant form of replicating macromolecule leading to life as we know it.  Selective pressures then favored those replicating macromolecules that could not only reproduce themselves most efficiently (e.g., faster) but also those that could fill new niches and exploit these niches for further replication.  Thus, the informational material began coding for production of proteins that created a phenotype, whose purpose was the more effective replication of the informational material in particular ecological niches. This, self-replicating information became genetic information, and life as we know it today.  The “striving of life” — if we may use that unscientific term — is toward the reproduction of the genetic material encoded in the DNA.

Many species, like the Mayfly, have extremely short adult lives, some as short as only 30 minutes!  These insects simply emerge from the pupae, fly around, mate, lay eggs, and die.  If the “striving of life” was to express phenotypes, it is certainly strange to evolve a phenotype whose only purpose is to produce an adult that mates and then dies within 30 minutes.  The mayfly seems to me to be an organism (similar to microorganisms) whose essential purpose is reproduction. Reproduction of what?  More 30 minute-lived adults?  Or, reproduction of the unique and distinctive genetic information characteristics of mayflies, that produces a particular phenotype to fill a niche allowing for this information’s replication.

I know the answer that evolutionary biologists would give, the only answer that makes sense and which is consistent with modern neo-Darwinian thought: The mayfly is a vehicle for the reproduction of its genes, nothing more and nothing less.

Humans, ultimately, are no different.  Europeans — and the finer subracial and ethnic distinctions among Europeans — need to worry about the continuity of their own unique and distinctive genetic information, and let Central/South Asians and Eurasian hybrids, regardless of phenotype, worry about themselves.

Ted Sallis (email him) writes on scientific issues.

Racial Cuckoldry, Racial Mimicry

I am sure most people are familiar with the typical definitions of  ‘cuckoldry’ in which a woman is unfaithful to her unknowing male partner.  Genetically speaking, the most severe form of cuckoldry occurs when the woman’s unfaithful behavior results in being impregnated by the “other man” — with the unknowing male partner being tricked to raise the other man’s offspring as if it were his own.  This extreme example of maladaptive behavior is similar to the phenomenon of brood parasitism as practiced by several species, including the cuckoo bird, from which the term “cuckoldry” is derived.  Humans or birds – the cuckolded organism suffers a drastic loss of biological fitness by raising as offspring young not their own.

As Dr. Frank Salter indicates in his ground breaking work on genetic interests, these interests – which are ultimate interests to all evolved organisms – can exist at higher levels than mere individual and family.  Genetic interests also exist at the level of population groups (“ethnies”).  Thus, if cuckoldry occurs at the individual/family level and damages genetic interests, can it not also occur at the level of ethnicity and race, with even wider spread damage done to genetic interests?  Can Racial Cuckoldry exist, in which people are misled into thinking that the genetically alien is actually a co-ethnic, and so invest in people with whom they share relatively little distinctive genetic information?

Note by “racial” in this context I mean pertaining to the “ethny” — which can beany genetically defined population (ethnic group, sub-race, race, etc.).  Note also that Racial Cuckoldry — defined as the maladaptive investment in genetically alien ethnies and/or alien individuals who are mistakenly considered as belonging to your ethny — is linked to mimicry, that is, Racial Mimicry.  Racial Mimicry is fairly straightforward — a member of one ethny mimics the outward characteristics of another ethny and, therefore, may be mistaken for a member of that other ethny.

An example of the racial cuckoldry paradigm is the case of the Kalash, as indicated by this post and comments thread at American Renaissance. The Kalash are an Asian Caucasian group that are, in general, fairer complexioned that the surrounding Pakistani population.  Some fraction of the Kalash population, particularly children, are fair even by European standards (i.e., light-haired and light-eyed), and an even smaller percentage of the population may resemble some Europeans in facial features (although most Kalash are, clearly, phenotypically distinct from Europeans).

The different faces of Kalash children

However, cherry-picked pictures of fair Kalash children prompt some hysterical commentators to assert that the Kalash are “Aryans,” racially similar to Europeans and thus racially “White” in the European sense of that word. Of course, this is complete nonsense; large scale genetic analyses clearly show that the Kalash are completely distinct from Europeans, a different race; indeed, the Kalash instead cluster with other Central/South Asian populations.

Faced with the irrefutable evidence that the Kalash are, from a European perspective, a racially alien people, the “hey, they look to me like White Aryans” commentators completely ignore the evidence and essentially repeat the assertions that “if you know anything about race, the Kalash are just like White Europeans.”  Except — they are not.  The data clearly show that the Kalash are in no way, shape, or form the “ethnoracial kin” of Europeans any more than are other Central/South Asian peoples.  Individuals of European descent who are tricked by the superficial phenotypic mimicry of some Kalash for Europeans are victimized by racial cuckoldry.  They are identifying the Kalash as part of their (kin) “ingroup” to an extent not supported by the actual genetic evidence.  These deluded individuals may maladaptively invest in a genetically alien people who are being mistakenly perceived as being close ethnoracial kin.  Is this any different from a bird raising an alien cuckoo in the nest?  Is it different from a man unknowingly raising another man’s child, thinking it is his own?  In its very essence, the cuckoldry is the same — investment in the genetically alien in place of more proper investment in those genetically closer.

At the ethnic level, this of course occurs with ethnic groups other than the Kalash. The same types of people who become breathless over pictures of Kalash phenotypic outliers also become equally excited by the occasional fair Iranian or upper caste Brahmin Indian.  The same hysteria about “Aryans” takes place, completely ignoring genetic data that shows these groups as distinct from Europeans.  Probably the non-European groups genetically closest to Europeans are the Ashkenazim, some (and only some minority of) Turks, and unmixed Berbers.  The Ashkenazim are likely a Middle-Eastern-European hybrid people and the European component allows for some limited similarity to Europeans, although selection and drift makes the Ashkenazi highly distinct from both Middle Easterners and Europeans. (See also here.) Turks are a mixed bag, some minority may be close to Europeans genetically and phenotypically; however, most others however are Near Eastern and/or Central Asian in biological type.  As a whole, the Turkish people are genetically distinct from Europeans, although closer to Europeans than are, say, South Asians (“high caste” or otherwise).  Berbers relatively unmixed with Arabs or Negroes are likely closer to Europeans than are Asian Caucasians, having, most probably, split from Europeans after the split with the Asian Caucasians.  However, genetic differences exist between all these groups; the point being made here is ofrelative similarity.  The major point is that, excitement over a few pictures of fair Kalash children aside, it is highly unlikely that the Kalash are closer to Europeans than are Ashkenazim, Turks, or Berbers. 

Racial cuckoldry can exist at the individual level as well.  Let us take for an example actor Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who is pictured below.  Knowing nothing of Mr. Gosselaar’s ancestry, I am sure that the “Kalash look like White Europeans” enthusiasts would say that Gosselaar looks White and European.  Indeed, they may assert that he looks like a typical Northwest European and, judging by his surname, is a perfect example of an unmixed Dutchman.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

Unfortunately, they would be wrong, as Gosselaar’s mother is of Indonesian ancestry, making him a Eurasian hybrid.  Now, insofar as I know, Mr. Gosselaar may be a fine human being, an honorable man, and an excellent actor, and none of this should be construed as disrespect to him as a person.  Nonetheless, his ancestry makes him genetically distinct and alien to Europeans, physical appearance notwithstanding.  A person of (unmixed) European ancestry who would invest in Gosselaar as a member of their ingroup would be making — all else being equal — a maladaptive choice.  If such a person is misled by Gosselaar’s appearance, then this is an example of racial cuckoldry due to racial mimicry.

Now, racial cuckoldry can occur for reasons other than phenotypic (physical appearance) overlap.  Mimicry in speech, culture, clothes, mannerisms and other such factors can mislead, resulting in racial cuckoldry as well. However, the Kalash problem is a perfect example of biological phenotypic mimicry leading to racial cuckoldry

Indeed, this is one way of thinking about cultural influence by Jews: Although they are genetically distinct, Jews are often regarded as Whites — despite the fact that they have different genetic interests and despite the fact that they have a very distinctive profile in the construction of culture: They are the main force behind the construction of the culture of critique. Nevertheless, from the Hollywood left to the neoconservatives, the Jewish identity and Jewish interests  of prominent figures in the media and in politics are rarely mentioned, at least partly because mentioning Jewish identity is vigorously policed by Jewish activist organizations that are loathe to allow discussion about, say, Jewish influence in Hollywood. Moreover, it  has been common for Jews, especially Jews involved in communism or other leftist movements, to change their names so that they didn’t appear Jewish. This deception was made easier because, as noted above, there is some genetic admixture between Jews and Europeans, so that many Jews look European. The result is that Jewish intellectual and political activists are simply categorized by most Americans as Whites.

The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart: Jewish, but European-Looking

Genetic testing can identify and expose racial mimicry by objectively determining ethny group membership via autosomal genetic analyses. The power of autosomal analysis is an excellent argument for genetic testing and an excellent argument against relying solely on phenotype, culture, etc. for the identification of co-ethnic kin.

This does not imply that phenotype and culture are unimportant; on the contrary, they are very important. But they are secondary and supportive superstructures built upon a foundation of autosomal genetic data. A primary reliance on these secondary racial identifiers leads one open to racial cuckoldry through racial mimicry, and one may see precious resources expended on the mimic rather than on actual co-ethnics. Or one may be open to cultural influences from genetically distinct peoples masquerading as ethnic kin. Testing and more testing — autosomal genetic analyses — is the key to avoiding racial cuckoldry.

Now, on a practical level, for ethnic groups, this is usually not a problem.  There is already a set of reasonably sound population genetic studies for many ethnic groups, including the Kalash.  Rational individuals can look at the genetic data and understand that several pictures of unusual Kalash children cannot alter the racial profile of that entire group.  The Kalash are a unique people that should be preserved, and I wish them well in their struggle for survival.  But, they are not European.  In the last analysis, the Kalash are part of the broader genetic interests of Central/South Asians; Europeans have their own survival to worry about and need to let the Asians sort out their ethnic relations for themselves.

What about on a more individualized level?  Unfortunately, it is not (currently) practical to have autosomal genetic testing be as routine for large numbers of people as is, say, fingerprinting.  But, it is not difficult to identify the ethnic ancestries of most people.  Surely, Gosselaar’s ancestry is known, and it is possible to realize that, physical appearance aside, his mixed Eurasian background makes him genetically alien to Europeans.  All else being equal, investing in Gosselaar based on his appearance would be a maladaptive choice for Europeans, and would be an example of racial cuckoldry.  Once one knows the ethnic ancestry about an individual, particularly if population genetics data exist for that individual’s constituent ethnic ancestry group or groups, one can estimate how genetically similar or dissimilar that individual is to you or to anyone else.  You would simply use ethnic genetic data as a proxy for that person; for example, if the individual in question is German, population genetics data for Germans as a whole can be used to estimate the probable genetic profile of that individual.  In most cases, it is not necessary for the person to be directly tested, although that option would be optimal.  And, if that person believes that the ethnic proxy is not a good representation of his/her own genetic background, and that use of the proxy would be an unfair imposition of an imprecise genetic identity, then this individual can be tested with available autosomal genetic analyses. Individualized testing should always be an option, but if it is not possible, then the ethnic proxy represents a reasonable substitute.

The main point is to avoid racial cuckoldry if at all possible.  It would be beneficial if people would actually think through the consequences of a “they look White to me” attitude if the genetic data are reasonably definite that “they” are in no way similar to Europeans. Science can help us in understanding our genetic interests, but this help is useful only if it is accepted.  A Luddite rejection of genetic science can lead to maladaptive choices.  A bird feeding an alien cuckoo has no choice in the matter; there, instinct is exploited to promote cuckoldry.  Thinking humans always have a choice; make that choice an adaptive one.

After all, what is the difference for a man between cuckoldry and adoption?  The former consists of a man being deceived into raising genetically alien offspring because he thinks it is his own; the latter consists of a man choosing to raise a genetic alien even though he knows it is not his own.  We may debate the wisdom of adoption — and for the specific case of people who cannot have their own children, adopting co-ethnics may indeed be adaptive — but at least the adoption decision is made with the knowledge that the child in question is the offspring of others.  No ignorance or deception is involved.  Now, if people want to “adopt” the Kalash or Gosselaar into the family of Europeans, then let that choice be an informed one, with the genetic consequences, derived from genetic assays, clear and out in the open.

Refusing to accept the available data is a poor method for decision making. Fully formed rational people should embrace the knowledge that is out there, not mindlessly reject it.

After all, it is your adaptive fitness that is at stake.

Ted Sallis (email him) writes on scientific issues.